The Unicorn's Secret: Murder in the Age of Aquarius

Open Road Media
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The true story of Ira Einhorn, the Philadelphia antiwar crusader, environmental activist, and New Age guru with a murderous dark side.

During the cultural shockwaves of the 1960s and ’70s, Ira Einhorn—nicknamed the “Unicorn”—was the leading radical voice for the antiwar movement at the University of Pennsylvania. At his side were such noted activists as Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. A brilliantly articulate advocate for peace in a turbulent era, he rallied followers toward the growing antiestablishment causes of free love, drugs, and radical ecological reform.
 
In 1979, when the mummified remains of his girlfriend, Holly Maddux, a Bryn Mawr flower child from Tyler, Texas, were found in a trunk in his apartment, Einhorn claimed a CIA frame-up. Incredibly, the network of influential friends, socialites, and powerful politicians he’d charmed and manipulated over the years supported him. Represented by renowned district attorney and future senator Arlen Specter, Einhorn was released on bail. But before trial, he fled the country to an idyllic town in the French wine region and disappeared. It would take more than twenty years—and two trials—to finally bring Einhorn to justice.
 
Based on more than two years of research and 250 interviews, as well as the chilling private journals of Einhorn and Maddux, prize-winning journalist Steven Levy paints an astonishing and complicated portrait of a man motivated by both genius and rage. The basis for 1998 NBC television miniseries The Hunt for the Unicorn Killer, The Unicorn’s Secret is a “spellbinding sociological/true crime study,” revealing the dark and tragic dimensions of a man who defined an era, only to shatter its ideals (Publishers Weekly).
 
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About the author

Steven Levy is editor in chief of the online tech publication Backchannel. Former senior staff writer for WIRED and former chief technology correspondent for Newsweek, he is the author of seven books, including Hackers, Insanely Great, Artificial Life, The Perfect Thing, and Crypto. His most recent book is the New York Times bestseller In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Nov 8, 2016
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781504042130
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
Social Science / Violence in Society
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Three riveting accounts of horrific crimes and the twisted minds behind them by an Edgar Award–winning author, in one volume.

A father’s ultimate betrayal, a savage killing spree that terrorized Los Angeles, and the brutal slaying of a rich man’s college-aged daughter. In this heart-stopping true crime collection, New York Times–bestselling author Darcy O’Brien uncovers the dark underside of the American dream.
 
Murder in Little Egypt: Dr. John Dale Cavaness selflessly attended to the needs of his small, southern Illinois community. But when Cavaness was charged with the murder of his son Sean in December 1984, a radically different portrait of the physician and surgeon emerged. Throughout the three decades he had basked in the admiration and respect of the people of Little Egypt, Cavaness was privately terrorizing his family, abusing his employees, and making disastrous financial investments. In this New York Times bestseller, as more and more grisly details come to light, so too does rural America’s heritage of blood and violence become clear.
 
The Hillside Stranglers: For weeks, the body count of sexually violated, brutally murdered young women escalated. With increasing alarm, Los Angeles newspapers headlined the deeds of a serial killer they named the Hillside Strangler. But not until January 1979, more than a year later, would the mysterious disappearance of two university students near Seattle lead police to the arrest of a security guard—the handsome, charming, fast-talking Kenny Bianchi—and the discovery that the strangler was not one man but two. The Hillside Stranglers is the disturbing portrait of a city held hostage by fear and a pair of psychopaths whose lust was as insatiable as their hate.
 
A Dark and Bloody Ground: On a sweltering evening in August 1985, three men breached Roscoe Acker’s alarm and security systems, stabbed his daughter to death, and made off with over $1.9 million in cash. The killers were part of a hillbilly gang led by Sherry Sheets Hodge, a former prison guard, and her husband, lifetime criminal Benny Hodge. The stolen money came in handy shortly afterward, when they used it to lure Kentucky’s most flamboyant lawyer, Lester Burns, into representing them. “The smell of wet, coal-laden earth, white lightning, and cocaine-driven sweat rises from these marvelously atmospheric—and compelling—pages” (Kirkus Reviews).
On October 23, 2001, Apple Computer, a company known for its chic, cutting-edge technology -- if not necessarily for its dominant market share -- launched a product with an enticing promise: You can carry an entire music collection in your pocket. It was called the iPod. What happened next exceeded the company's wildest dreams. Over 50 million people have inserted the device's distinctive white buds into their ears, and the iPod has become a global obsession. The Perfect Thing is the definitive account, from design and marketing to startling impact, of Apple's iPod, the signature device of our young century.

Besides being one of the most successful consumer products in decades, the iPod has changed our behavior and even our society. It has transformed Apple from a computer company into a consumer electronics giant. It has remolded the music business, altering not only the means of distribution but even the ways in which people enjoy and think about music. Its ubiquity and its universally acknowledged coolness have made it a symbol for the digital age itself, with commentators remarking on "the iPod generation." Now the iPod is beginning to transform the broadcast industry, too, as podcasting becomes a way to access radio and television programming. Meanwhile millions of Podheads obsess about their gizmo, reveling in the personal soundtrack it offers them, basking in the social cachet it lends them, even wondering whether the device itself has its own musical preferences.

Steven Levy, the chief technology correspondent for Newsweek magazine and a longtime Apple watcher, is the ideal writer to tell the iPod's tale. He has had access to all the key players in the iPod story, including Steve Jobs, Apple's charismatic cofounder and CEO, whom Levy has known for over twenty years. Detailing for the first time the complete story of the creation of the iPod, Levy explains why Apple succeeded brilliantly with its version of the MP3 player when other companies didn't get it right, and how Jobs was able to convince the bosses at the big record labels to license their music for Apple's groundbreaking iTunes Store. (We even learn why the iPod is white.) Besides his inside view of Apple, Levy draws on his experiences covering Napster and attending Supreme Court arguments on copyright (as well as his own travels on the iPod's click wheel) to address all of the fascinating issues -- technical, legal, social, and musical -- that the iPod raises.

Borrowing one of the definitive qualities of the iPod itself, The Perfect Thing shuffles the book format. Each chapter of this book was written to stand on its own, a deeply researched, wittily observed take on a different aspect of the iPod. The sequence of the chapters in the book has been shuffled in different copies, with only the opening and concluding sections excepted. "Shuffle" is a hallmark of the digital age -- and The Perfect Thing, via sharp, insightful reporting, is the perfect guide to the deceptively diminutive gadget embodying our era.
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